Just Do It: The Nike Spirit in the Corporate World

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9781558504790: Just Do It: The Nike Spirit in the Corporate World

An award-winning author penetrates Nike--a company of the future, a dream machine that seeks to redefine culture through the power of sports--to provide this portrait of Phil Knight, who pioneered the company from a two-man operation into a four billion-dollar corporation.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

An agreeably fervid take on what makes Nike Inc. a consistent winner in the ultracompetitive sports-and-fitness trade. Accorded apparently open access, Katz (Home Fires, 1992) made the most of his unusual opportunity, capturing the in-your-face ‚lan and imperatives that keep the company (best known for its athletic footwear) ahead of a pack that includes the likes of Adidas, LA Gear, and Reebock. Eschewing the more familiar forms of corporate history, he simply reports on the hectic pace maintained by Nike (named after the Greek goddess of victory) over a turbulent 17-month span that began shortly before the Summer Olympics of 1992 and ended at the start of this year. In the course of tracking Nike minions in venues ranging from corporate headquarters (in Beaverton, Ore.) through Europe, Pusan, South Korea (site of key manufacturing facilities), and inner-city shoe stores, the author provides just enough background on how the company managed to become a multinational force to keep his running commentary on contemporary events in clear perspective. Katz offers something for almost everyone in his vivid warts-and-all accounts of the moves made by Nike's executives, high-profile spokesmen (Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, et al.), and lesser lights. Sports fans get to meet superstar athletes up close, while armchair investors can focus on the megabuck rewards afforded by an organization whose annual revenues top $3.9 billion barely two decades after its founding. In like vein, students of psychology can make what they will of the author's efforts to explain how a global enterprise is able to sustain its entrepreneurial drive in a long-distance race with no apparent finish line, and trend spotters may wonder at Nike's uncanny capacity to keep one step ahead in fashion while not breaking faith with the world-class athletes and wannabes who gave the company its jump start. An engrossing and illuminating appreciation of a distinctive corporate culture. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Katz (Home Fires, LJ 5/15/92), who spent 17 months among Nike's senior management during a tumultuous period in the company's history, offers a meticulous, well-written report about the high-pressure decision-making behind Nike's famous marketing campaigns. Lamentably, however, he glosses over controversial issues like the substandard wages paid by the company's Third World manufacturing operations. And he declines to draw interpretive conclusions about Nike's domineering influence over college and professional sports management. This lack of critical perspective constitutes a serious flaw in an otherwise diligent work of corporate reportage. Still, readers will find this a more balanced and up-to-date treatment than J.B. Strasser's Swoosh (LJ 1/92). Recommended for general business collections.
A.G. Wright, Harvard Coll. Lib., Cambridge, Mass.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Donald Katz
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Donald Katz
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Katz, Donald
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